2010...the best bits...books and comics

Been a busy year, and haven't found as much time my usual amount of reading. That doesn't mean though that there hasn't been some highlights.

Best Books

This was the year I discovered Paolo Bacigalupi and the wonderfully realized dark future he describes. I know The Windup Girl came out in 2009 but I read it this year, and was blown away. It can be quite hard for an author to visit a well trodden path, in this case a bleak and pessimistic view of the world in the not too distant future. What Bacigalupi does so well is to play on many of the standard themes, like the fall of government and the power of corporations, corruption and decay but still manages to create a world quite unlike any you have heard described before, and one that sounds scarily plausible. Throw in interesting characters, some great writing, and a plot that twists and turns through the streets of a future Thailand at a good pace, and you have one of the best science fiction novels of the last decade, let alone the last year.

I also enjoyed William Gibson's Zero History, as I have done all three books that feature his wonderful anti-hero Hubertus Bigend.

Best Comics

One stands out for me this year, and that is American Vampire. Great art and wonderful characters from Rafael Albuquerque, Scott Snyder and Stephen King. Skinner Sweet is a perfect anti-hero, the villain who might or might not be truly evil, but you secretly hope will keep cropping up.

I could of course mention Fables every year, and I will again. Bill Willingham and co never cease to please, and the issues in 2010 were as strong as ever. I had feared that the end of the Dark Ages arc might take some of the steam out of the franchise, given how much it seemingly tied off, but thankfully that doesn't seem to be the case. It has now celebrated a hundred issues, and personally I would be happy for it to see another hundred!